01 of 06
Challenging Times Ahead
No one said that grandparenting would be all fun. Special challenges must be met by stepgrandparents, long-distance grandparents and grandparents raising grandchildren. And those are in addition to garden-variety family conflicts and the more serious ones that sometimes result in estrangement.
Buckle up. It's a bit of a bumpy ride.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
02 of 06
Illness, Death and Divorce in the Family
All families go through hard times. Sooner or later all families will experience serious illness or death. Families with rich resources of love and some practical knowledge can negotiate these trying times and come out, if not stronger, at least wiser.
Along with health issues, marital difficulties are a major cause of stress. Divorce can be highly traumatic, not only for the principals, but also for children and even for... grandparents. And grandparents aren't immune from marital discord, either.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
03 of 06
Get Along in Good Times and Bad
Why can't we all just get along? Family harmony can be elusive, but each family relationship has its own dynamic. The more you know about particular relationships, the better equipped you'll be to handle misunderstandings.
- Mother-Daughter Relationships
- How to Be a Good Mother-in-Law
- Relationships Between Mothers and Adult Sons
- How Fathers Can Stay Close to Their Adult Sons
Learning to see things from the point of view of other family members is key, but good communication skills are vital,... too. Grandparents also must realize that their seniority in the family doesn't grant them license to make decisions for others.Continue to 4 of 6 below.
04 of 06
When Family Conflict Becomes Family Estrangement
It's a secret that many grandparents are hiding. They are estranged from a family member. Even if the grandparents feel that they are not at fault, they usually feel shame. And often there's no easy fix.
- When Adult Children Divorce Their Parents
- Reasons for Conflicts With Adult Children
- A Breakdown of Family Estrangement
When grandparents are estranged from adult children, they often are cut off from grandchildren, too, and that can be heartbreaking. In their hearts, they feel they have the... right to see their grandchildren, but the law doesn't always agree.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
When Grandparents Are Caregivers
Many grandparents today provide child care for their grandchildren. Sometimes they are occasional babysitters, and sometimes they provide regular care for working parents. Here are issues to consider before making a commitment to be a child care provider, as well as hints to make those occasional babysitting gigs go more smoothly.
- Financial Issues for Grandparent Child Care Providers
- Other Factors in Grandparent Child Care
- Be a Better Grandparent Babysitter
Some grandparents are sharing housing with... their children and grandchildren. By so doing, they may save money. In addition, the family members can cooperate to provide child care and elder care. But with three or more generations under one roof, an occasional squabble may be inevitable.
For some grandparents, taking care of grandchildren isn't a part-time gig. Statistics suggest that grandparents are raising grandchildren in ever growing numbers. Legal issues and financial strain top the list of hot issues for this group, but the emotional health and social needs of both the grandparents and grandchildren must also be considered.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
06 of 06
Other Special Challenges Grandparents Face
With many families separated by hundreds and even thousands of miles, the maintaining of close family relationships can be problematical. Thank goodness for technology, which allows many long-distance grandparents to remain close to their grandchildren in spite of the miles.
Many grandparents are also step-grandparents, mostly because they have an adult child who is a stepparent. Although tons of grandchildren... have great relationships with their step-grandparents, the grandparenting role can be a little different.